I'm a newbie guitarist, still learning. As such, I didn't really spend a whole deal on an elaborate setup (I've made as much use of hardware I've already owned) and I'm currently using my JTV89 (which I'm really happy with) with a TonePort GX connected to my PC, which in turn is connected to an old (but good!) NAD amplifier and through that a pair of speakers. Note, that I don't need to record yet - as stated, I'm still learning - and all I need is to monitor the sound and have low latency. As such, the signal is routed via the jack output from the TonePort (so I'm NOT using the USB) to the LineIn in my PC which in turn (using kX drivers for old Creative cards) routes this to the amplifier (the computer needs to be turned on for the TonePort to work anyway, so I might as well get some control out of it).
The end result is satisfactory, but leaves a lot to be desired. For one, I need to constatnly fumble around with the cables and if I leave the guitar plugged in then the batter gets drained. Another, quite obvious thing, is that I need to have the PC turned on and applications running. Finally, the sound quality is... well, it's not terrible, but it could definitely be better.
With all that said, I think I'd love to make use of the digital interface on the Variax. From what I can tell, only a handful of devices offer this functionality. Amongst them are the POD X3 Live and the POD HD 500 - the former is definitely cheaper, but I can only get a used unit (there are some for sale on the local auction sites), while the latter is far more expensive (even the used models are priced at almost twice that of the X3). From what I could gather the HD 500 is really well built - something I don't really need if I'm going to be using this at home, but (supposedly?) also offers better sound quality.
Which of these devices would be a good purchase for me? Or perhaps... is there an entirely different device you could recommend?